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Avner Vengosh

Nicholas Distinguished Professor of Environmental Quality
Earth and Climate Sciences
Box 90328, Durham, NC 27708-0230
308 Research Drive, A-207 LSRC, Durham, NC 27708


Avner Vengosh is a Distinguished Professor and Nicholas Chair of Environmental Quality at the Nicholas School of the Environment. He is the chair of the Division of  Earth and Climate Sciences. Professor Vengosh and his team have studied the energy-water nexus, conducting pioneer research on the impact of hydraulic fracturing and coal ash disposal on the quantity and quality of water resources in the U.S. and China. He has also investigated the sources and mechanisms of water contamination in numerous countries across the globe, including salinity and radioactivity in the Middle East, uranium in India, fluoride in Eastern Africa, arsenic in Vietnam, and hexavalent chromium in North Carolina and China. As part of these studies, his team has developed novel geochemical and isotopic tracers that are used as fingerprints to delineate the sources of water contamination and evaluate potential risks for human health. Currently, his team is engaged in studying phosphate rocks geochemistry and the impact of fertilizers on soil and water quality, unconventional sources of critical raw materials, and potential environmental effects of lithium mining from hard rocks and brines. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and International Association of Geochemistry (IAGC). In 2019, 2020 and 2021 he was recognized as one of the Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers. He serves as an Editor of GeoHealth and on the editorial board of the journal Environmental Science and Technology. He has published 171 scientific papers in leading international journals. His recent cross-disciplinary book “Water Quality Impacts of the Energy-Water Nexus” (Cambridge University Press, 2020) provides an integrated assessment of the different scientific and policy tools around the energy-water nexus. It focuses on how water use, and wastewater and waste solids produced from fossil fuel energy production affect water quality and quantity. Summarizing cutting edge research, the book describes the scientific methods for detecting contamination sources in the context of policy and regulations.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Nicholas Distinguished Professor of Environmental Quality · 2021 - Present Earth and Climate Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment
Professor of Environmental Quality · 2010 - Present Earth and Climate Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment
Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke Kunshan University · 2016 - Present DKU Faculty
Research Professor of Global Health · 2020 - Present Duke Global Health Institute, University Institutes and Centers
Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative · 2012 - Present Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

Australian National University (Australia) · 1990 Ph.D.
Hebrew University (Israel) · 1986 M.S.
Hebrew University (Israel) · 1984 B.S.